Pain-Free Testing For Diabetic
Many diabetes find it painful to test their blood sugar. They must have also wondered whether there will ever be a painless solution to this problem.
To this day, we still practice the painful drawing out of blood and the use of lancets. However, there are researchers looking for better ways to get blood for testing. In this article, we go into the present best ways to pain free testing as well as the gadgets which our researchers are developing at present.
Using alternate sites
Diabetics find finger prick testing painful due to the fact that many sensory nerve endings are situated at the fingers. Yet, we still get the blood from our fingers because we can get more accurate readings of blood sugar levels here than at other not as sensitive parts of the body.
To avoid too much worry or discomfort resulting from daily finger pricking at the fingers, diabetics can get their blood from other parts of the body to test for blood sugar levels, like the forearm or the palm of the hand. These areas are not as painful as the finger and this method is known as alternate site testing.
We may get slightly different readings of blood sugar levels with blood from these areas especially when the rise and fall of the sugar levels are rapid. Therefore, alternate site testing ought to be used only when we glucose levels are probably quite steady.
If you prefer to use alternate site testing, find out from your meterâs manual how suitable the meter is. You can also find out this from your diabetes team or enquire from the manufacturer of the meter.
Pain Free diabetic blood sugar testing – Video Guide
Pain-free testing researches
Some universities have been studying and searching for ways to have blood testing done without any pain. They have devised certain gadgets which will be discussed below. However, it must be remembered that the development of these devices are still at the experimental stage.
Infrared blood sugar testing
There is no necessity to draw blood from the body to know blood sugar levels when infrared light is used. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology makes use of Raman spectroscopy which is a technique that permits the shining of near-infrared light on the forearmâs or fingerâs skin.
The infrared light goes half a millimeter beneath the surface of the skin to measure the chemical bondsâ vibration in the skin, to get the sugar levels of the fluid within the minute spaces between the muscles and the skin.
The sugar levels in interstitial fluid are measure by continuous sugar monitors. Interstitial fluid refers to the fluid which is found between the muscles and the skin and is another source of sugar for the cells.
Since the interstitial fluidâs sugar level is proportional to the bloodâs sugar level except for a delay of approximately ten minutes, it means that the interstitial fluidâs sugar level will be the same as your blood glucose level taken ten minutes earlier.
Another way to measure the glucose levels is find out the sugar level in our tears which is also proportional to the bloodâs sugar level. For this purpose, a sugar sensor to be used on our tears is being developed in a research by the University of Michigan.
However, there are difficulties faced by the researchers as sugar levels are raised due to a response caused by the stress of drawing a tear. Furthermore, sugar concentration in the tears is between 30 and 50 times lower than sugar concentration in the blood.
Similar to tears, saliva has a sugar level which is approximately 100 times less than blood. In order to measure the minute concentrations of sugar in the tears, a research by Brown University in America made use of a biochipÂ which has many small plasmonic interferometers which have a wide range of 100 to 200 nanometers.